Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Chairman's Message: Dynasties, Teamwork and Returning to Relevance

I grew up a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.  Magic, Kareem, Shaq, Kobe and others filled my life with winning and excitement for over 25 years.  Championships were expected, playoffs were demanded and relevance was a given.  They were a dynasty, not unlike the 1970’s Steelers, 1980’s 49ers and Alabama football.  
Something happened, though, along the way - the Lakers became complacent.   In recent years, the successes became less frequent.  Methods and styles that were once successful were now outdated.  Dynamics around the NBA changed, but the Lakers failed to adapt.  They became something I never imagined was even possible - the Lakers became irrelevant.
Where am I going with this?    The Lakers eventually bottomed out, posting one of the worst records in the NBA for the past 3 years in a row.   But now, after that struggle, something has happened.  The team is playing a selfless style, which benefits all of the individuals.  They are ‘buying in’ and uniting for the common purpose of winning and getting back on the path to relevance.   There is a lesson in this for all of us, including Destin.
We need your help, as our business community, to:

  1. Recognize that we are at risk of declining.
    1. Unless our methods change with the times, we will decline.  30a has become a premier community and Destin is known for traffic.   We need to ensure Destin is a business-friendly family destination.  That said, other communities around us have reversed that course, it is possible (Pensacola downtown revitalization, S. Walton).
  2. Foster an environment of teamwork.
    1. No individual agenda reigns, but that which benefits the entire community.  
  3. Be willing to adapt to what is next.
    1. For issues of traffic, land development codes, code-enforcement, beach access, etc.
  4. Prepare now for our future.           
    1. If we only address today’s problems, we fail to plan for the livelihood of our future generations.  What will the town look like in 10, 20, 40 years?   What infrastructure will we need?  Where will Destin kids go to high school? 
I wanted my last Chairman’s message to be about the heart of what I feel is important to our community moving forward.   I hope that Destin is not complacent like my Lakers, because I want Destin to be vibrant……like it should be.
The Destin Chamber represents over 900 area businesses and is here for the long haul.  We are committed to see our community be the best place possible - to live, work & play.  That said, we need your help, advocacy and voice to be most effective.  Destin has incredible natural resources and beauty that other communities can only dream about.   We have a close knit community and a bright future.  The task is not insurmountable but there is work to be done.  Go Destin. Go Lakers. 
Jonathan Ochs
Trustmark National Bank
2016 Destin Chamber Chairman of the Board

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